As Billy Ray Valentine says, "Merry New Year!" But as we get into the Week 17 daily fantasy (DFS) football picks, there's a lot of other pieces from the movie "Trading Places" we should consider as well.
Valentine and Winthorpe make a huge amount of money by successfully doing one of the major tenents of fantasy football. They sell high and buy low. But orange juice futures are no different than player salaries. If you are one of the few holding high-producing shares of players that you bought at fractions of what others players paid for their players, you should make a fair amount of money.
Valentine also says that the best way to hurt rich people is to make them poor. I agree with him, but the converse is also true — one of the best ways to make poor people happy is to make them rich.
So here is hoping we can all get a little richer or perhaps stay rich with some of my picks.
And time for our weekly reminder that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. The first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites.
For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
Let's start the new year off right!
Safe Quarterback Week 17 Pick
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team (DK $6600, FD $7500)
There are probably safer bets out there, but it's hard to not like Hurts this week. He's accounted for five touchdowns the last two weeks. No team is giving up more fantasy points to quarterbacks than Washington.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 17 Pick
Tua Tagliovoa, Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans (DK $5800, $6700)
There are at least a dozen more attractive options this week, which makes Tagliovoa a high-leverage play. The fact that the Titans have given up the seventh-most passing yards doesn't hurt if you're considering this option.
Safe Running Back Week 17 Pick
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders (DK $9000, FD $10000)
I almost omitted him here as his price is super exorbitant. And if you don't want to take risks elsewhere, you are not going to be able to fit in all my safe picks.
But Taylor is such an obvious pick.
Taylor has a dozen finishes as a top-12 RB this year, and that's three more than anyone else has. The Raiders are giving up the third-most fantasy points to RBs this year. If you can afford it, Taylor is a clear set-it-and-forget-it option.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 17 Pick
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. Atlanta Falcons (DK $5400, FD $6000)
I mentioned in my start/sit column that only four teams are averaging at least 1.7 yards before contact per carry. The Eagles are the highest at 1.99, but that list also includes the Bills.
Singletary sure ain't hurting that stat on Sunday!
Safe Wide Receiver Week 17 Pick
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens (DK $9500, FD 10,200)
Even if he fails to live up to his price, the odds of Kupp hitting his floor is fish-in-a-barrel easy. Kupp needs a few more seasons to be worthy of the Hall of Fame, but he is having a HOF-worthy season. Just how good of a year is Kupp having?
Well, he's averaging more than 26 PPR points per game. Only three other times has a WR averaged at least 25 PPR points per game in a season. Davante Adams did it last year. And Jerry Rice did it twice. That's it. That's pretty rarefied air. You absolutely cannot fade Kupp right now.
I showed you last week how banged up the Ravens' secondary is. Kupp against these DBs isn't even gun-in-a-knife-fight unfair. Baltimore has allowed more pass plays of 20-plus yards than any other team. The Ravens also have allowed more yards per target than any other team. I have a better shot of beating Shakira in a twerking contest than Baltimore's secondary does of stopping Kupp.
High Risk/High Reward Wide Receiver Week 17 Pick
Nico Collins, Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (DK $4000, FD $5200)
So I really wanted to list Van Jefferson here, but I feel like I've touted him too much already. And the Rams are already an offensive juggernaut. Houston has been an absolute train wreck this year, but I'm starting to believe in general manager Nick Caserio. He has five players he drafted in the third round or later who have provided some value: Davis Mills, Brevin Jordan, Garret Wallow, Ryan Lopez, and Collins. And while I like Jordan, Collins is really starting to show his potential.
Collins is starting to look like a stud no matter what language you speak. And while many might fear a matchup against the 49ers' defense, San Francisco is not as stout against the pass as you may think. They have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to WRs this year.
Collins makes for a sneaky upside play this week.
Safe Tight End Week 17 Pick
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans (DK $7100, FD $7300)
Kittle is the No. 3 fantasy TE this year and he has better the matchup than Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce on Sunday.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 17 Pick
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions (DK $4100, FD $5200)
Everett has one of the lower floors as the 68 receiving yards he had last week were his highest all season. That was more than twice his average. But he is a threat to score each week, with three touchdowns in the last five games.
Everett is cheap enough that he scores, we should make a nice little profit while allowing us to spend up elsewhere.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 17 Pick
New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $3900, FD $5000)
C'mon! Do I really need to give you all the reasons? You know all the reasons. If you have the salary space, might as well play the Pats.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 17 Pick
Buffalo Bills vs Atlanta Falcons (DK $3500, FD $4500)
So the Bills are outside of the five most expensive DST options on both sites. And I'll let this tweeter tell you all you need to know...
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.